Three weeks into using La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus - what can I say? As you can see from the pictures there has been no real improvements so far. Aside from controlling the oiliness of my skin, it hasn't done much to improve the texture as promised. I think the radiance I spoke of last week was a result of me finally catching some sunlight. I had an hormonal break out which left me with hyper-pigmentation marks that the cream was supposed to prevent - rather disappointing. In the past week, I have been very diligent with using it twice a day. Because I was a bit all over the place with using it regularly the first two weeks, I am going to use this for two weeks longer than asked - making it a total of 8 weeks as opposed to 6 and see if that makes any difference. Ideally I would have abandoned this and moved back to the combination that was working for me, but I have a rather good incentive (see below), my reward for completing the first week of reviews - a free full size bottle of the La Roche Posay Physiological Cleaning Gel! I have been meaning to try this and since I'm running out of face wash, it was a great reward, I can't wait to try it at the end of the day after wearing make up. I'll post a few lines about it next week.
End of two weeks on La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus (+ I think the overall health of my skin has improved. Its very hard to explain, but has a nice radiance to it. I have to confess in the first two weeks I was lax about using the product twice a week, mostly due what I said before about the sample size being really small. But, I'm going to try to be more consistent with my usage. Also, I had a small , but painful pimple on my forehead - I did not burst. I'm keeping an eye on it to see if it leaves a dark mark.
I wrote this last summer and didn't get round to posting. its been living in my draft folder for 10 months now. I feel I should start by saying my acne had reduced naturally over the years from severe to moderate, but I still had the scars from the severe period which is what I really wanted to shift. Here is my monthly plan and a couple of pictures and my thoughts on some of the products. IMPORTANT The advice here should not substitute the advice from a certified skin care expert of your choosing. I am not a dermatologist cosmetologist or aesthetician. I ended up with this routine after years of research and trial and error documented in this blog. This is what works for me, I'm not responsible if it doesn't work for you or causes averse reaction. You undertake this routine at your own risk. For the record, I am black, african (Nigerian), my skin type is oily, but lacking in moisture, - which means that it looks oily on the surface and it is oily to the touch, however if you take a closer look at the skin it looks dry. Do not mistake moisture for oil they are different things. My skin is acne prone, I have suffered from severe to moderate acne for 10 years, I've shifted to moderate over time due to aging, tablets (on prescription) and just eating better. Right now I don't get as many spots as I used to, and my scarring has reduced a lot. I had a moment of clarity and came up with this routine. In spite of my warning and disclaimer, I hope this routine works for you as well as it had worked for me. I will update with a "how I maintain my skin routine (and clear the last few spots)" in the near future. MONTH 1 Morning Routine *Likas Papaya Soap (purchased on ebay) - I think this faded my spots, but I won't say it was remarkable. *Proactiv Solution Revitalizing Toner (purchased on ebay). *Nivea Sun Kids Sun Lotion (boots). Night Routine *Remove Make up - I highly recommend - Huggies Pure Baby Wipes as a make up remover. (boots) *Likas Papaya Soap (see above) *Proactiv Solution Revitalizing Toner (purchased on ebay) *10% AHA face cream (purchased on ebay). MONTH 2 - this is the more intense face peel month. Morning routine *Botanics Shine Away Mattifying Cleansing Mousse - I really wanted to use something, gentle and non irritating (no BHA/AHA acids, no citric acid, no alcohol), but I couldn't find anything and I was in dire need so I settled for that. It worked fine, my skin didn't feel dry or tight after using it. Proactiv Toner *Nivea Sun Kids Sun Lotion (boots), i ran out so I switched to Olay Essentials Complete Care Sensitive Day Cream SPF15 (10 months later I still use this, but I am going to try out La Roche Posay's SPF and see how it works with my skin). Night Routine *Botanics Shine Away Mattifying Cleansing Mousse Proactiv Toner *10% AHA face cream (purchased on ebay). WEEKLY/ONCE WEEK TWO WEEKS - 40% lactic acid face peel. At first I did this once every two weeks and to see how my skin will react I noticed small pimples, nothing major and they didn't stay for long and didn't scar. So, I upgraded to one every two weeks. - if you are a first time user I suggest you go lower they do a 20% and maybe do a patch test first. When I do this I go easy on my skin afterwards, no toner, no AHA face cream, just a good moisturizer like the olay mentioned in this post or nivea cream. Make sure you don't leave the lactic acid on your face past the time recommended or you will end up with scabs and burns - ew.
I carried on the "Month 2" routine for another 2 months (3 months in total). After a while I noticed skin was getting sensitive to the face peel, I was getting dark marks around my mouth and burns on my nose so I stopped using them. Luckily, the dark marks vanished very quickly. The routine took me into November which is when I switched to La Roche Posay products. I'll tell you all about my experience with them in the "how I maintain my skin routine (and clear the last few spots)" post coming soon.
SUMMARY Was all that too confusing? Here's the gist of it. - Weekly to bi-weekly face peels - 20 - 40% - 10% AHA face cream every night except on days when I use face peels. - Sunscreen! This is not a miracle cure, this might not work for you. But i believe if you have a variation of this routine down - so AHAs (salicylic acid) and BHAs (lactic acid, glycolic acid) covered while still being gentle to your skin with the the help of non abrasive face-wash and soft face creams, you will see results. Thanks for still clicking and checking out my blog. If you have any questions leave a comment.
As i said in my initial thoughts, I found the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus (+) light and easy on my skin. The instruction said to use day and night and this concerned me as I like to use sun protection during the day. But, after applying the Effaclar Duo Plus (+) I found that it vanished easily into my skin and I could easily follow up with my usual SPF moisturizer.
For me the the real test was layering - La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus (+), followed by my olay moisturiser, then primer and foundation...I was expecting my skin to be grease galore, but La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus (+) actually appears to have controlled the oil on my skin.
It is so light, and easily absorbed that I felt I need the moisturize afterwards, the smell is similar to the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. No real improvements to my skin yet, but no bad reactions either. So, I'm happy to carry on to week 2!
One small thing, you are supposed to use the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus (+) twice a day, but the sample size barely last two days if you do that.
~ and edited version of this review has also been posted on the la roche posay facebook page as part of the terms of the competition.
La Roche Posay was having a competition on their facebook page and I won the opportunity to review La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (+) over the course of six weeks. I have used La Roche Posay products in the past, and the basic Effaclar Duo (without the 'plus') is a favourite of mine and helped improve my skin considerably. So, when I saw the chance to review this updated version I jumped at it. I thought this would be an interesting experiment, because I think a lot of us of Afro-Carib origin tend to shy away from these products because we think it is not formulated with our skin in mind.
The package arrived with 6 trial size tubes and one full size. As part of the terms of the win, I have to keep track of my skin's progress in writing and pictures for the La Roche Posay facebook page. so, I thought why not update my blog as well?
So here's what I got in the package.
6 trial size for 6 weeks and 1 full size
Full Size Vs Trial Size
Also, as an incentive, every week I complete a review I get a full size product - aint that swell?!
On the box it is described as a 'fresh-gel cream, 24hr hydration and lasting mattifying effect, non-stick, non-oily finish. excellent make up base'. I found the texture is creamy but, not in a thick heavy way. it wasn't totally light and watery either.
ECU texture shot
I used that much.
I read somewhere that it you can follow La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus (+) with your daily moisturizer. As someone with oily skin, I was initially weary of this. I like to use SPF and my usual beauty routine is - SPF in the day, skin treatment at night. The La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus (+) says it should be applied twice daily and I thought I would have to forgo my daily SPF for in favour of using the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus (+) twice daily. But, after applying La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus (+) it vanished into my skin,it was non-greasy, non sticky, almost like I hadn't used anything. So, I felt okay with following it with a SPF lotion (my favorite being Olay essentials complete care).
I told my mum I wanted some Nigerian black soap and she sent me some, but she had no idea which one I was referring to so she sent me the packaged version -
and the traditional version.
I remember we used to have to make them in art class or home economics as a kid. I always found it fascinating. There are many different black soaps out there, I think if you google, you will find anything from a light ashy brown to a very dark one like the ones in this post. I think this is due to the fact that our african grandmothers rare ever had written recipes and eyeballed the quantities so it didn't come out the same every single time. Also, the ingredients and quality/quantity vary from one region to the next. That is why I hesitate to say this is "African" black soap, I'm using that description for search purposes only. The soap being shown in this Nigerian Black Soap and if you don't know, Nigeria is in West Africa.
More shots of the soap.
side by side comparison Nigerian black soap is softer and can be easily be broken in half by hand. The Dudu Osun is like any normal soap.
close up of black soap it looks like fruit cake or carrot cake.
easily pliable -that ball was more than enough for my face.
Because I only need very little and it lathers well, I haven't even begun to use the Dudu Osun yet!I have more than a few months' supply which goes well with embargo on buying new skin care products. Lets hope it makes a difference or it would have all been for a nought.